Ag Day 2012 today was a success, as several Illinois agricultural groups, universities and businesses joined at the Illinois State Fair to celebrate Illinois’s farmers.
In the commodity pavilion, fair goers enjoyed updates and discussion from the Presidents of the Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Pork Producers Association and Illinois Soybean Association. While listening, fresh pork chop sandwiches and ribeyes were sizzling on nearby grills.
For lunch, the Director of Agriculture invited ag leaders from all over the state to join him for lunch. On the Director’s Lawn, Bob Flider introduced state Directors of Agriculture from years past including John Block, Larry Werries, Joe Hampton, Gordon Ropp, and Tom Jennings. The event was a wonderful time of reflection.
And even as our leaders remembered the good years, they collaborated on how to face one of the more challenging harvests Illinois agriculture has seen in a generation. The drought is going to affect each and every farmer in Illinois, no matter the commodity they raise. Ag leaders will work together to help their fellow farmers “weather the storm” and start looking ahead to the 2013 crop year.
Challenging harvests aren’t the end of the discussion though. Challenging legislation in Washington, DC threatens the future of our industries and challenging regulations remove our freedom to farm. The theme for the day was cooperation to face the largest challenges among us.
Overall, Ag Day 2012 was a success because of the faithfulness and hardiness of Illinois farmers. Yes, the challenges mount, but we will stand together and address each head on, looking forward to profitable and prosperous futures in Illinois agriculture.